Gustavus men’s tennis players Amrik Donkena and Mya Smith-Dennis both lost their singles match-ups in the first round of the NCAA Championships on Thursday morning in Cary, N.C., but bounced back as teammates with a close victory in the doubles draw. The top-seeded duo advances to the second round, which starts at 2:00 p.m. EST on Friday.
Making his third consecutive appearance at the national individual tournament, Donkena dropped his first round match against Tanner Brown of Johns Hopkins 2-6, 0-6. The Rochester, Minn. native finishes his singles season at 19-10.
Smith-Dennis put up a good fight against Rob Crampton of Bates, but fell in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 2-6. The Savage, Minn. native ends the season with a 22-7 record in singles.
Head Coach Tommy Valentini’s No. 1 doubles pair kept their season alive, though, by edging Texas-Tyler’s Kevin Singer and Ryan Spencer 7-6 (4), 7-5. With the win, Donkena and Smith-Dennis improve to 29-4 as teammates this year. Smith-Dennis now has the opportunity to get retribution against Crampton as the Gusties will take on Crampton and Matt Bettles of Bates in the quarterfinals Friday at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Live scoring and video will be provided for quarterfinal action.